The spinal canal is the inner space containing the spinal cord and nerves in the spine. Owing to soft tissue changes (such as ligamentum flavum thickening, herniated intervertebral discs, etc.), space inside the spinal canal becomes narrower. As a result, the spinal cord or nerve roots are compressed and causing different neurological symptoms and spinal stenosis.

Self File | Spinal Stenosis 椎管狹窄症 _Causes and Physiotherapy Treatment of Neck and Back Pain Disorder




  • Spinal degeneration, thickening of ligaments and joint capsules, instability of the spine, post-surgery and etc

  • Prolapsed Disc

  • Facet joint arthritis or degeneration



Risk Factors
  • Physical labouring or poor posture

  • Congenital factors: congenital spinal stenosis, scoliosis or previous spinal injuries

  • Aging: after aged 50 with general degeneration and lack of muscle flexibility



Common Symptoms
  • Intermittent claudication (No resting symptoms, but leg pain, weakness, and numbness appear after walking for a short distance and disappear after a short rest)

    Leg cramps, tingling, pain, numbness, or even sensory deficit.

  • Symptoms worsen over time and may occasionally recur. It is usually aggravated by standing or walking, but relieved when sitting, leaning forward, or lying on bed




Although acute or severe pain requires adequate rest, this does not mean that complete bed rest is the fastest way to recover. Electrophysical therapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, joint mobilization can help reduce pain and its radiation to the extremities. Also, using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) can reduce inflammation. We should pay more attention to maintain a correct posture in daily life and avoid prolonged sitting or walking without rest or stretching. When the acute stage has overcome, specific deep core muscle strengthening, soft tissue stretching, neurodynamic stretching can speed up recovery.


If the pain is still severe (seriously affects walking and daily activities) without significant improvement after months of rehabilitation, surgery may be indicated. Surgeries like laminectomy reduce neural stress and tension. A spinal fusion may be needed to fixate the spine and restrict movements in the most severe cases.

Preventive Measures
  • Maintain a good posture when carrying heavy objects, and you can use braces or assistive devices to protect your back if needed.

  • Heavy objects should be placed at waist level for easy moving.

  • Exercise regularly, which helps maintain the strength and flexibility of our spine, joints and ligaments.

  • Avoid over-extending our back.


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